Now here's a topic that I think many of us can relate to -- lost motivation.
I recently struggled with this myself. Just a few weeks ago I reached a point where I had to decide whether I wanted to continue in this internet development direction or go for another career change.
I had reached that point because I had to invest in better hosting to accommodate the additional websites I have under my wing. But I wasn't totally convinced I wanted to.
But, the primary reason wasn't because I'm loosing an interest in the challenge of discovering and learning new technology (and I've been learning daily since 1997). It's because I've grown weary of constantly having to struggle against the bias of big business domination. I know that same problem exists offline too but at least we managed to leave them behind for about 10 years while they had their eyes on the internet without yet fully committing to it.
But I feel now it's just like the offline world where they come in and squish everything. And, it doesn't appear to be getting any easier either. For me it's a daily struggle of wishing there would be more cooperation among those developing the internet instead of the current trend of a few wanting to own it while alienating everyone they grew up with.
For now I decided to stick with it rather than push all my clients off to shared hosting and hanging a gone fishing sign on my monitor. But I am definitely loosing motivation.
I'll stay with it for a while more to see if it gets any better. But if not, my next career move will be back to my first love -- a wilderness guide, and bush planes. At this point I can't think of anything more appealing than entertaining guests in the wild. I long to be sitting around a campfire at night telling tales, and struggling 30 minutes at a time during the day with 14 kilogram salmon on a fly rod :)
But I'm usually lurking around here on WW much of the day as I'm tied to my work. I typically shut it down around midnight, get up whenever I get up and back to work and back on here, always keeping my eyes open for an interesting topic.
|the earlier years of the Internet |
In the earlier years a much smaller number of people were involved.
They felt part of something new and different, and coded their own websites.
Nowadays they use Wordpress... like everybody else
|people were posting fast and furiously 24/7 |
Nowadays they post on Twitter and FaceBook... like everybody else.
|It used to be exciting and fun |
I was young once... like everybody else.
|...at least we managed to leave them behind for about 10 years while they had their eyes on the internet without yet fully committing to it. |
Now their eyes are on mobile "without yet fully committing to it." Where do we go next?
Everything mutates to something else. When does it cease to surprise us?
|Nowadays they post on Twitter and FaceBook... like everybody else. |
Even on Twitter it dries up after hours except for automatic posts and people babbling about sports. Plus you really can't discuss coding in detail on those platforms.
I just miss the wide-eyed enthusiasm that was so easily found not so long ago.
It also feels like there's been a big shift from development discussion to marketing and maybe that makes sense as we've reached a different phase in the web.
Actually - the internet is beginning to bore me. The excitement of the new has worn off, today it is a simple tool which has the sex appeal of a television set for me.
|brotherhood of LAN|
I'm not much of a [insert any company here] basher, including Google, but I feel that the days where you could hit #1 for really competitive terms on top search engines without hordes of money were what motivated a lot of independent webmasters who have always been thecore of this community. It seems harder now though I'm sure the smart SEOs amongst us are still very effective.
I think wikipedia would have had a tangible effect on demotivating people from writing content or creating a new site.
It can be demotivating that there are indeed people who will work overnight to achieve the same things as you, but better and quicker. There are also people who will work for a fraction of the reward you want.
I could go on but it might cause someone to give up .... ;o)
if you speak of the general vibe, i can tell you i have a new website project online since one year. in the recent months i got the impression, that the audience here consists mostly of a bunch of old farts (no offense) who have their websites online since 1997, quite a few made some serious money and didn't change that much on their side since then. the moaning threads about google serps deteriorating for them and seo not being what it used to be are representative for that lifestyle. pure preservation of the beloved former status. thinking they have the right to stay on top of the serps forever with their old stuff.
now this attitude doesn't help me in my current situation, where i have completely different issues with fresh content trying to rank against the establishment. i have other interests than preserving, i wanna grow my new business.
if you speak of WebmasterWorld activity concretely, i have the feeling, that the platform is slightly getting neglected by the new owner(?). a year ago, there were 5 or so fresh headlines in the highlighted posts every day. now, there's maybe one in two days on average. considering the deteriorating overall activity, could be that it's mutually dependent, but then again, it's not too difficult to headline a bunch of new interesting webmaster issues from the tech news every day. it's like a blog where you notice that the blogger has slowed down his activity and doesn't post frequently anymore. you lose interest or at least decide to adapt and slow down your visiting or participation frequency.
on the other hand, it's all natural lifecycle. there's only so much you can philosophize about google serps, as most of that stuff isn't in your hands. adsense is another example: the program exists since 2004 and hasn't really changed since then. most issues have been covered over and over, and the newbies ask questions that the senior members have already dealt with long ago. few new input.
if you speak of your own website building activity, i can comprehend in so far, as if you don't invent anymore, you naturally lose passion over time. but that's your problem. stay hungry, stay up to date, stay fit.
|Now it seems the discussion only happens on weekdays 9-5 and dries up Fri-Sun. |
Is nobody motivated anymore?
Has the 24/7 web become just another 9-5 M-Th day job?
Sad to see all the wide-eyed webmasters and entrepreneurs working to build the next big thing all become jaded and offline in the off hours.
It used to be exciting and fun.
incredibill, the phrase that best describes what you, and so many others, are going through is "The Honeymoon Is Over"
I'm getting sick of low value winners and high value folks losing. But frankly, I'm a mule, I was saying the same thing nearly 10 years ago. But I've got plans to change that in 2013. So I'm not bored, but am filled with optimism about new projects my team is going to startup.
I must admid that the last 2 years has ruined my fun with working as a webmaster, reason mostly google related. I am now trying to build up a new company, which will only be presented online with 3 pages, front, contact,terms and with no index for google and Bing. Also the product will not be sold online, means a exclusive product that is not available online. I must say it working out fine.
I have also created 3 commercial sites, which also have a no index for google and Bing, the customers did also like the idea.
I really recommend people to take a new view on business.
|the audience here consists mostly of a bunch of old farts (no offense) who have their websites online since 1997 |
Hey! I resemble that! and it was 1996, get it right!
However, unlike some of the other old farts, I try new things all the time, embrace the new technologies, build new sites. I'm not the grump sitting in the corner going "Lightbulbs? what do we need lightbulbs for when we have perfectly good candles."
ADDED: technically I got on the internet about 1990 but I was only using as an email transport at that time.
Old fa...um.. old guys? Like me?
Yes, this forum used to be "hopping", and I used to frequent it more often. I suppose as I've grown older, I realized that I need to 'log off' and spend more time with my family. (Wife and 4 kids).
i would type something here but I have lost motiva...
More and more often I'm surprised by the time lapse between new posts shown on the active posts thread. Not uncommon to see intervals approaching or even exceeding an hour in the evenings.
In earlier days it was common to need to scroll through 3 -4 pages of active threads to see what happened over night. The other day the total for the over night hours was less than 10 active threads between 11:30PM DST and 8AM the next morning.
I won't speculate on why beyond saying "Such is life on the internet I guess".
Many of the other forums of this vintage: jimworld/searchengineforums, ihelpyou and others closed long ago.
In the early days of the web, webmastering and SEO was a lifestyle choice. Nowadays, for many of the new entrants it's just a 9-5 job.
It's interesting talking to newer people at conferences. I rarely find people joining forums. Indeed many seem to have never heard of even the most popular/well-known sites. They mostly promote themselves via their blog but seem to have little motivation to join forums and help others.
Some of the things happened the last decade in the webmaster world are just now happening in the mobile/apps environment. You can find many young people with amazing ideas, apps sold in millions by a teenager, start-ups raising funds with a zero-income business plan...
Definitely agree with OP. I think its extremely difficult to find new markets and technology. The internet has become saturated and income's are in decline for many people.
It's hard to come up with any originality, and in many ways open source projects have killed off independent web developers and ideas. I guess its the price you pay for Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento etc.
Bill I think it is not so much modivation but the amount of work that has to be done to continue a web presence. Gone are the days were you can buld a good site get some links and watch her climb. It now takes a team and probably the way it should be. I have fallen of posting like I did because I frankly don't have the time. I visit often but with the work I have to get done, and when I get off the work I have to do by the time I am free crap I am toast and really don't want to look at a computer screen. Modivation yea some have become beaten down and tired of the drag but for the most part I really feel the increased pressure has killed the free time we use to enjoy.
The web used to be fun. It used to be possible to achieve something with a moderate amount of work. Making money used to be much easier for sure but now Google sucks up 40 billion of what probably used to be spread around to early enthusiasts/businesses. Now you can sink an endless amount of work into something and see it go nowhere. There used to be competition in the search marketplace among web sites and search engines. Turn the clock back 5-8 years and the web would be fun again. Google used to be a cool company.
People used to surf the web for fun, now they tend to see what the FB or GOOG algo thinks they want to see. It used to feel like it was possible to create something cool that people would see and enjoy, it used to be fun to roam around on the web and find those cool things.
Personally I had no interest in computers before the net came along because anything crated just sat on a local machine or a local network. When the web came along, all of a sudden it became possible to "share" thing with people. It's basically reverted back to the pre-web days. Build whatever you want and chances are few if any people who might appreciate it will ever see it. It was nice while it lasted.
|It now takes a team and probably the way it should be. |
Yes and No.
Depends on your definition of 'team'.
I still do things as a one man shop and can knock out stuff pretty fast but I use all sorts of open source frameworks and libraries. With sites like 99Designs and various freelance outsourcing at your fingertips, assuming you have a little money to spend you can accomplish a lot on the cheap using your 'team' to do most of the work.
I just glue it together with my code when they're all done.
I find it fun that I can build bigger more robust stuff with less effort than I did back in the day and it works across all platforms, desktop to phone, out of the box is totally cool.
FWIW, I think mobile sucked the fun out of the web as everything has to be an app now and there are so many (cr)apps out there that having a breakthrough app these days is next to impossible unless you write games.